i can answer that

Posted on Posted in book reviews/events

late last night i received this comment from sunshine:

I have started reading your blog and am wodering where I can see how much YOU matched for this amount that your readers are donating. In other words, I donate $5, you say that you match this correct? If this is the scenario, where can I see documentation that you yourself matched it. Also,where is the documentation that states it is being matched indeed by you and not by monies sent to you from your readers (in thoughts that you will send it in under the actual donators name).I attempted to search your blog to see if there may be a link to this information but am unable to see one.

and then today, after being out all day and away from the computer i received another:

As I commented on a previous blog posting of yours, I would be more then thrilled to donate for M.S. but I find it a bit unsettling that you give the appearance that your site is making rather large donations matching others. If you can show somewhere that you indeed ARE donating, then I will be happy to follow suit. I would like to add that your attitude that reveals through your blog postings appears to be quite pompous and a smidge smug. I am sure you are not that way IRL, but you do your readers such an unjustice by portraying that. Bloggers/designers with far more experience and following don’t portray anything close to that and I am sure they wil never do so.
I am hoping you will take this as contructive critisim and not anything more. It would also be helpful to not hav your patterns all be clained as your designs when they really are just stitch patterns that anyone can do. If you designed the stitch that is entirely different, but you did not correct? I will wait patiently for fundraising documentation, I am sure you have it correct?

i find it odd that in attempting to reply cordially to you sunshine, i cannot get my emails to go through; apparently you are using an email address in your comments that yahoo tells me does not exist. you are also using the IP address of another reader, so that no one can identify you (yet you insist that i be very public about my donations, which strikes me as being just a little odd).

so, i will try to satisfy you with an answer here as best i can, though i wonder from your note if indeed you want to be satisfied.

in the 18 days that i have been running the matching fund challenge, i have linked back frequently to the original post (click HERE to read it) about my booster drive to help claudia raise funds for knitters against MS.

in that post, i was very publicly clear about the goal: i put up a $500 matching fund to be distributed to the national MS society as follows: for every reader who left a comment telling me that they gave i would give $5 to knitters against MS (readers did NOT need to disclose amounts, and the donation could take place any time during this year’s fund drive).

why “sunshine” chose NOT to read that information, or to ask for clarification of it, is a mystery.

if we used up the whole $500 i would add a bonus amount.
everyone was on the honor system; if anyone emailed or left a comment for me, i would believe that they gave, and add $5 to my total donation. for people who let me know they gave more than once, i added $5 for EACH time they gave.

to be very clear, i did NOT promise to match reader donations dollar for dollar; rather, i promised to simply to tally up the total number of givers who let me know they gave, and multiply by $5 to calculate my own gift.

also, i do NOT accept or collect monies directly from readers EVER to forward to any fundraising venture. in fact, i do not accept donations at all from readers, or for any reason whatsoever. readers are always asked to make their own donations directly to the organization concerned, and donations are completely voluntary and discretionary.
any gift i give comes from my own pocket alone.

as for publicly proving what i gave, i don’t know that it is possible. by yesterday, i really wanted to send at least part of my gift in so that claudia could get a number toward her goal. we had nearly reached the original goal of using $500 with 98 total matching gifts (98 x $5 = $490.00)

figuring (and hoping!) that some more would come in over the weekend i sent in a $600 contribution. as of this minute to the best of my knowledge, we have achieved a total of about 110 matching gifts, so i think my contribution will cover everything.

while knitspot does appear on the rolling list of contributors here, i did not ask to have my amount listed next to the name (maybe i should have . . .). i do however have a receipt for the amount in hand (but since “sunshine” uses a fake email address, i can’t show it to them).

since it is our goal every month to forward donations to organizations in need, i feel a little funny about defending myself in this situation. it never occurred to me that anyone would question that we actually do follow through on that goal. i don’t think publishing the particulars about donations is prudent or necessary, even though i felt it important to do so today. any thoughts? do you as readers generally feel uncomfortable with the sort of fundraising challenge we do here every june?

i really try not to beg readers to give money for every little thing. once in a while i mention that another blogger is doing some fundraising to raise awareness that it’s happening. the june booster event is one of the very few that i directly ask readers to help me fight for a cause.

last year someone took issue with the fact that we had a raffle to help get interest in this event, saying that the raffle came across as a bribe. so this year i went for pure begging instead. it’s hard to strike the right balance between keeping things fun and having serious goals, but my hope is that somehow we are doing it.

as for the other constructive criticism in “sunshine’s” noteβ€”you always have every right, sunshine, to voice your opinion. you also have every right not to read blogs that offend your sensibilities.

179 thoughts on “i can answer that

  1. Ditto all of the above. Your work is beautiful–whether in yarn or in planting. Your blog reminds me of what the real things in life are about; loving and being loved, and sharing what we’ve been blessed with. Those qualities are why I read what you share with us. Please keep it up and Thanks.

  2. I didn’t read all the comments, but I’m going to assume that the vast majority take the same position I do, which is that you do not come across as smug or pompous AT ALL, but rather warm and interesting and lovely. I would love to spend a day with you in person. As for implying that you are dishonest and somehow out to take credit for other people’s donations or embezzle money (which is how I read Sunshine’s comments), that is laughable. Perhaps that reader is projecting his or her own ethical failings onto you. And as for Sunshine, if you don’t like it here, no one’s forcing you to stay.

  3. Dear Anne,
    I want to commend you on the good works you do
    for the community. Why does somebody try to make
    something evil out of something good.Where is the trust that we are supposed to have in our fellow
    man.We are not here to judge. If somone is ripping somebody off, that’s between them and the
    Creator. I have Lupus
    and been sick for 24 years and can go at any time
    now. There is very little being done for my
    disease. There are very few fundraisers and very
    few people interested.I am always happy to see
    that someone has put themselves out to help
    another human being. That’s what we are here for.
    No one should be sick or suffering. I use to be
    a nurse and there are no good diseases. I hope
    that Sunshine is healthy and concentrates her time on her own efforts to help others. No one
    is forcing her to read your blog.I think your
    designs are lovely. I have several of them.

  4. Sunshine’s problems are just that, Sunshine’s problems. When someone opens their mouth to speak,they reveal their own reality. Sunchsine’s seems pretty unpleasant.

    Other people do not determine you. You create yourself and you seem fine.

  5. What are people thinking?!?! To question your honesty is absurd…I couldn’t believe what I was reading when I read it! The negativity of people is always out there, unfortunately, but it only lands on your blog infrequently, thank goodness. You handled it with your usual grace, and if Sunshine was a regular reader, she would know that you have a great sense of humor AND humility! Carry on, Anne…I enjoy your blog every day!! Corinne

  6. Anne, this is one of my favorite blogs and I read every post. I never comment because there are always so many other people with nice things to say. But maybe you should know… I really appreciate the effort you put into making your blog pretty with nice photos and I love the rogueish and jaunty nature of your posts. Every one of your patterns that I’ve knit has been a pleasure. The world is a better place for having you in it. Keep it up!

  7. Holey Moley!! Some people just aren’t happy unless they are complaining…

    As for as your designs, I’m thrilled with them, and have purchased some. If “sunshine” doesn’t want to, then happy trails!

    I love this site, and it is one that I read every day. From the knitting, to the gardening and cooking Anne–You make my day!!!

  8. Oh my, talk about a severe downer.

    Unfortunately, some people are just unable to speak nicely. I’ve had to deal with people like this as well as I run exhibits and do fundraising as well.

    One woman actually wrote to me (a very long lecture) about why she doesn’t feel I’m qualified to run my exhibit because I used ‘then’ when I should have used ‘than.’ She said my misuse of the word demonstrated that I wasn’t paying attention to details. I was amazed that anyone would draw such a harsh conclusion from a TYPO.

    At any rate, my point is, don’t worry about it. You are doing a good thing and someone’s crankiness should not detract from that.

    And I hate to tell ‘sunshine’ this but designing is all about taking stuff that already exists and spinning it into something new and different. Maybe she should give it a try before she speaks so harshly.

    You rock Anne, keep going.

  9. ah my. the inane world that some people exist in still astonishes me.
    Obviously, little miss ‘sunshine’ doesn’t really read your blog at all.

    well said, my friend. you are elegance !
    and what an amazingly generous amount you donated to Claudia’s worthy cause. πŸ™‚

  10. Obviously Sunshine can’t be a regular reader, or he/she’d have picked up on your integrity, honesty and humility by now. Your designs are wonderful – if they weren’t, we wouldn’t buy them now, would we? Or go squeee! when you publish a new one!
    So… as I see it, Jamie Oliver, Delia Smith, even Mrs Beeton are all in the same boat as you – after all they use ingredients others use, to make an end result that’s unique to them…
    Anyway – surely it’s worse to use an IP Address that someone else actively uses, than it is to take ingredients others have prepared and make them into something new and appetising?
    Keep on with your designing, and I don’t give a hoot how much you give to whom – you say you do it, so I assume you do – there is no earthly reason to accuse you of such shifty behaviour (I hesitate to use the F word as it has legal connotations).

  11. I’ve been reading this blog for a couple months now (though I’ve never commented) and I have to say that it never once occurred to me that you *could* be taking advantage of anyone because you provide so much detail. Anyone can contact you or the charity in question; it’s less of a breadcrumb trail and more of a semi-truck-full-of-loaves trail. It’s one thing to suggest that someone be more explicit in each post about an event. It’s another all together to suggest that something untoward is going on because the commenter is too lazy to look for the actual information.

    I agree with everyone who’s suggested this is not something you have to worry about. This is a modern-day poison pen letter. I’d guess that it’s someone who is jealous, perhaps someone with their own knitting blog who wishes they had your following (which would explain using someone else’s computer/IP address and a bad email) and who thought s/he had the right to try and knock you down a peg. And maybe “sunshine” is experiencing a wee existential crisis and realizing s/he is not the center of the universe. Lashing out at you is maybe an attempt to feel important and influential when s/he already has an inkling that that is not the case (another reason for the hidden identity). In the end perhaps it’s flattering: you’re a visible peg! Congrats! I know I’m glad that’s the case – I feel like I’ve learned a lot about knitting, gardening, design AND the power of a knitting community in reading this blog – and I’m sure that’s true for most of your readers. Keep up the good work and the lovely photos!

    –Sydney (Portland, OR)
    SydneyE on Ravelry

  12. That is ridiculous! I love reading your blog and would never think any of those things. Also, I think that if people want to give to any charity or fundraiser then they should do so out of the goodness of their hearts, not just because someone else might “match” a donation. It seems very strange that they would want verification that you actually are donating…

    Anyway, you do a great job and I appreciate everything that you do for the knitting community:)

  13. My jaw is dropping at those posts (and that is a good thing, because if I had muscular control, I’d invent some new words and phrases that would be unprintable). I think your efforts to raise money are commendable.

    I wish I had the talent you have for “slapping together” available stitch motifs to create something beautiful. I’m at work on one of your patterns now, and I’m even more astounded at your skill than I was from just looking at the pictures.

  14. Soooo, let’s see now….. To be a REAL designer, you would hae to use a color that no one had seen before, a stitch pattern that does not consist of knits or purls, and describe it in words that no one else has ever used, heard of or written down. Is that right, Sunshine? And just where will we find YOUR designs? Grow up and get a REAL life.

  15. Anne, I love your blog (gradening and knitting posts alike), love your patterns, and was happy to donate to Claudia’s MS ride, even if you hadn’t been adding the matching $5 – it was just a bonus that you were so generous as well.

    The small-mindedness of some people will never cease to amaze me. Have they nothing positive to do with their time?

    Thanks for everything you do, and don’t let the concern trolls get you down.

  16. Geez-Luiz….

    #1-looks like Little Miss “Sunshine” (so she calls herself) is looking for a REASON NOT to donate to a WELL deserved charity!

    #2-I for one have been knitting for more than 35 years…and own my very own stitch dictionary and have NEVER had the gumption or ability to design my own knitting pattern particularly “lace”!

    Your designs are AMAZING and I’m THANKFUL for your designer knowledge. I’ve bought (as you well know) several of your patterns and will continue to do so as long as you keep pumping out the most beautiful patterns that inspire me.

    I could resort to name calling here but I’m going to maintain my composure…

    Anne, keep up the GREAT work you do and don’t worry about comments such as these…as you stated, she’s gone to great lengths to hide her identity…it think I see a yellow streak!

  17. Yikes, I go away for a day and the trolls start again.

    I finally managed to make my donation to Claudia and appreciated the reminders on here as well as on Claudia’s own blog. Time just got away from me and I ended up waiting to this week to do it.

    The designer comments bug me. I occasionally think I would like to go through my stitch books and design a shawl/scarf but then I read your blog and all the work you go through to make the shawl and/or scarf work and I think no, I would rather just wait for you to do it and then I can just knit it. All the little details that go into it just boggle my mind.

    Keep up the great work and don’t let the trolls get you down.

  18. Just to let you know – I donated to the MS Knitters. It’s great that you’re willing to donate as much as you are!

  19. You are a talented designer and blogger. Also I wish I was as generous as you. You rock!

  20. Anne — Thank you for your blog, patterns, inspiration, garden pictures…I could keep going on. I enjoy reading your blog all the time! Sorry you had to deal with this type of ill-will when yours is all good.

  21. Some people can be just so ignorant and rude. I find what you are doing to be commendable. I had a family member die of MS and ANY amount of time or money donated to the cause is a beautiful thing.

    And as for the patterns, well obviously sunshine is just jealous because he/she/it can’t put together a fabulous design the way you can!

  22. Woah….mean and uncalled for! Hold your head high and continue doing what you do so generously-designing magnificent designs, and writing such an intelligent, upbeat and interesting blog.

  23. It seems like a good time to let you know that I love your blog, and your writing style. It is very positive and comforting. I also love the two knitspot shawl patterns I have knit – you are a very talented designer, and your patterns are clear and well-written, and definitely worth paying for.

  24. I think you should just do what you’re going to do and not worry about people who aren’t smart enough to read.

  25. This is my second post on this subject so please don’t respond. But I have to say that I am wowed by this amazing (but not unexpected) outpouring of positive support you are receiving. It has to buoy your spirits! We are all behind you!

  26. “Caring about others, running the risk of feeling, and leaving an impact on people, brings happiness.”
    –Rabbi Harold Kushner

    Anne – everyone here has posted / stated/ represented the love and care that we all have for you. In some way, this event serves to create unity – perhaps we could all join together and send out only goodness to Sunshine and hope that he/she finds a way to his/her own heart.

    Thank you for the goodness that you bring to us – and your generosity in supporting Claudia in her MS ride. It has been such great fun to participate in her fundraiser.

    AND – thanks for your personal support – as a “newbie knitter” you have given me great direction and encouragement!

    Much love & light from Oregon to you!

  27. “Sunshine” has all the hallmarks of a certain bloggy troublemaker some of us have known in the past, including the cutesy name, and like a bad weed, rises to the surface every once in a while and then retreats under her rock. I’m not sure if that’s the same person, but it sure does have a familiar ring to it.

    All I can say is UGH. I am so sorry you have been the recipient of this kind of ugliness. And why on EARTH do people feel the need to be that way? You are a class act, Anne, and don’t you forget it.

  28. I completely concur that you are on moral Alps, and you did not even need to deign to offer a response, yet did so above and beyond all normal conscientiousness and politeness.
    I would have just hit delete ASAP.
    Thanks for your donations – and your terrific blog!
    I have not begun to buy sock or shawl patterns, but when I am ready, I will start with yours.
    much appreciated, Lisa

  29. Anne,
    It always bugs me when some random person decides to pester a good and faithful knit blogger.
    This sunshine seems to clearly be a rabble rouser, and you have done an excellent job not stooping to her/his level. I love the reliability with with you deal with such uncalled for stories. I love your designs, btw, and never hesitate to enjoy the fusion of color, stitch placement and beauty. Thank you for being who you are πŸ™‚

  30. I have never commented before but feel the need to put in my “two cents” this time. I read your blog every day and look forward to all your new patterns! I think your designs are wonderful and your blog is one of the highlights of my computer time in the morning. Please don’t let someone like this ruin it for the rest of us! 99.9% of us applaud you for your contributions to worthy causes and your knitting contributions! News flash for “Sunshine” – Don’t log onto Knitspot…and change your pseudonym to a more fitting adjective…

  31. It’s all been said, dearest Anne, but I had to take the time to tell you that I’m completely behind you. Your writing style is lovely, your designs are amazing, and your generosity is in NO question here. Great job responding to bad energy…hang in there!

  32. Anne, I think Sunshine should stick where the sun *doesn’t* shine. If it weren’t for you, I’d never have sorted out knitting, or spinning. πŸ™‚

  33. I am an avid reader of your blog and am inspired by your designs. I am also in complete shock that people would be so rude about your generosity in helping raise funds for MS. I just wanted to say that your kindness and attitude through this reminded me of a favorite quote…

    “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

    Keep it up!

  34. The trolls are out again, apparently. Nice response on your part, Anne.

    Oh, and Miss Sunshine? You might want to get a “regular” dictionary and brush up on your spelling and grammar next time.

  35. Anne, the only thing I can say is HOLY.CRAP. What the heck? Either Sunshine has not read your posts about the MS ride and your contributions or she just does not “get” it. As to the rest of it….you know we love you πŸ™‚

    It’s a good thing that you and David do every year πŸ™‚

  36. Okay, I want to rip someone’s head off right now. What an idiot sunshine is. I’m wondering if it was a prank, even! Just to stir up a bruhaha. Personally, Anne, it totally embarrassed me when people talk about their donations, and how much they’ve given. Charitable giving is such a personal thing, and I hate to hear people talk about actual amounts. So I think you were completely fine with the explanation you gave, and it was completely clear from the get-go that you had a $500 cap. And as for your patterns??? Hey Sunshine – bring it, girlfriend!!! You think you can do better??? Let’s see your stuff!!! I think I smell a little jealousy. . . actually. . .

  37. Delurking to say that I too admire your graciousness and generosity in all things, Anne. Thank you for all the joy you bring to so many of us!

  38. oh dear, life is just too short. Give what you give, do what you do, be who you are and ‘sunshine’ – get a life!

    on the design issue, I often think ‘ I coulkd have written that!’ but I didn’t did I and that’s the point, you do the work, you take the time and put in the effort therefore you are the designer, and I , sadly, am not πŸ™

    don’t bother with the rebuttals for my sake honey, just carry on being you πŸ™‚

  39. You are a classy lady and I really enjoy reading your blog. You will never please everyone, just keep doing what you do so well. It seems that some people just love to cause others grief. Unfortunate that you have to deal with it but you are part of the human race and a small part of this race is whacked. Keep up the great blog and rest assured in your own mind that you did a very generous and good thing for the knitters MS.

  40. Anne, you handled that little troll with your usual grace and class. Hurrah!

    I have been reading your blog now for about a year (yep, read all the back postings too) and have never for one minute sensed any smugness or conceit from you. I think it is marvelous that you and David espouse worthy charities and are able to donate as much as you have and to raise awareness.

    As for the sniping comments you received on your beautiful and original designs, ignore them. I have quite a few of your wonderful patterns, and want to tell you that you truly are an inspiration to me, as I work on coming up with my own designs. Stitch dictionaries are just that. Like others have said, its how you interpret the stitch, what color you use, what yarn you use that makes the design unique. Sounds like little miss Sunshine (NOT!) is terribly jealous of you….so please forget about her and don’t let her poison pen bring you down.

    And oh, before I forget because the Yarn and Needles are calling to me now, little miss Sunshine, designing is very hard work–you just might want to give it a try before you cast stones at others.

  41. Holy cow! With gunk like that clogging up the blog-o-sphere, its no wonder the online knitting universe is shrinking away! Anne I think you just jumped about 5 notches (if thats even possible) in my realm of admiration! You remain graceful under what must be an infuriating situation. As a fan and frequent purchaser of your patterns~ many thanks! I’ve yet to be disappointed!

  42. My uncle has late stage MS. I just wanted to say how grateful I am to you, Anne, for being there to help raise awareness about the disease. Just posting about Claudia’s ride encourages all of your readers to read more about MS and the fight against MS. Putting your own money up against our donations, then, is an act of generosity and support that speaks volumes about your own selflessness. I appreciate that from the bottom of my heart. And frankly, I like my knitting with a bit of a moral centre.

  43. You are the last person in the world I’d suspect of not doing what you say. ESPECIALLY regarding donations.

    As for incorporating an existing stitch pattern into a sock, shawl, whatever pattern and then calling it your own pattern: Sunshine had better stop knitting because that’s what designers do.

    Ex: Nancy Bush takes historical and traditional heritage patterns and updates them for the modern knitter in a clear and concise way and she is revered for it.

    Heck, Sunshine had better not even be knitting patterns that use the knit and purl stitches, because y’know, the designer didn’t create those! That comment reflects that Sunshine has very little understanding of knitting and maybe needs her diapers changed.

  44. One more vote of support for you. We all love and read you not just for your designs, not just for the inspiration they bring to my own knitting and designing, but also because of who you are. I probably will never have the good fortune to meet you, but I do feel that you are a friend, a kindred spirit, someone who truly cares about others, trite as that sounds. Thanks for bringing a little sunshine into my life every day!

  45. You are such a class act. Excellent reply to “sunshine” but I don’t feel that you need to reply to her. I enjoy reading your blog and I don’t see where anyone can ever see you as “smug.” I have most of your shawl patterns and eagerly await more. great job and thank you for the beautiful patterns that you design!

  46. Eh, people are just stupid.

    You did a great thing and I adore you for it! πŸ™‚

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